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I got a bit of a curiosity question. While trying to use an old CRT monitor temporarily I noticed that the VGA cable has a short in it. (wiggle the cable and the picture cuts out). So I looked at the back of it and surely enough the cable is not capable of being changed without opening up the monitor. I've lost 3 CRT monitors to an issue with the VGA cable. In comparison, I still have the first LCD monitor(from 2002) that I got and it still works.

Why have VGA cables typically been built into CRT monitors, while not being built into any other type of monitor I've seen? Was there some obscure reason for it, or was it just a way to force you to go buy a new CRT monitor every 2 years?

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It is a money saving "feature" for the monitor's manufacturer. This feature is not exclusive to CRT monitors; LCD computer monitors may also have their cable attached. Older or "better" computer monitors have a VGA connector and detachable cable. Industrial-grade VGA monitors and projectors use five BNC connectors instead of the HD-15 connector.

Theoretically, since one pair of male and female connectors have been eliminated in the signal path, the connection to the video source should have a more consistent impedance and be more reliable. The downside is that there is a fixed length cable, and if damaged, it's difficult to replace.

BTW, if you "wiggle the cable and the picture cuts out", then that cable has an open, not a short. Cables rarely go "bad" if they are properly handled and not abused.

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It's become more common to include removable/swappable cables. But it's still mostly a price level. More expensive or better made CRT monitors have swappable cords. Cheap LCDs can still be found with non-removable cables. –  music2myear Aug 30 '11 at 19:16

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